Can whiskey have a local flavor?

The company Wigle Whiskey will launch its three whiskey products this fall; each one from different regions: Saskatchewan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

The American brand ensures that, although the distillation process has been exactly the same in each one, they have a different flavor due to the local grain obtained from each region.

This argument is based on the idea that climate, terroir and the unique condition of each place, creates the different flavor on each product.

But the question is, does terroir really affect the taste of whiskey, or is it just marketing?

On the official website of Wigle Whiskey we can read: “The contemporary state of whiskey production has created an opportunity for smaller craft producers to provide spirits that are representative of the specific region where the products were created“.

This argument does not speak of the distinctive flavor of each product, it only incites consumers to buy regional products, such as theirs. A point in favor for marketing.

However, we cannot deny the results of their own experiment. Each whiskey was distilled the same way and was aged for two years. This is “The Terroir Rye Project 2015-2018”. The results show different flavors on each one.

“Saskatchewan whiskey is soft and nutty, Minnesota is a bit earthy, Pennsylvania is hot and fruity”. Besides, it is true that Pennsylvania rye had high levels of ethyl acetate, which emits fruity flavors.

The truth is that nobody is sure if liquors can really transmit a unique “terroir” flavor the same way as wine does. However, the one thing terroir skeptics and defenders do agree on, is on the importance of supporting regional products, whether the singularity comes from the soil or the technique.



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